Vegan MoFo: Caponata, for all your eggplant-devouring needs  »

Vegan hero Kittee posted her family’s caponata recipe last month and I have been dying to make it since. Unfortunately it’s been too hot for serious cooking since June, and only in the last couple weeks has it cooled down enough at night to even open the windows. And this week? Another heat wave.

Last weekend, though, I had plenty of time and cooler evenings to do some serious stove work, and I whipped up a big cast-iron pot full of Kittee’s caponata. I have eaten it for lunch every day since Saturday and every day it tastes amazing; you will love it. Thanks, Sicily, for inventing possibly the best way to eat vegetables of questionable textures.


Cookbook review: Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!  »

Celine Steen and Tami Noyes have a new, gorgeous cookbook out called Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!, and because vegan blogging tends to be a mutual admiration society (you’re all so great!), they sent me a copy for review.

It has long been established that the sandwich, in all its many, glorious forms, is the perfect food. But if a good sandwich is as easy as taking your favorite main course and slapping it inside some carbohydrate casing, why would you need a cookbook? I advise thinking of this book as more of an inspiration guide, like reading two inventive ladies’ food-dream journal.

The photos are nearly obscene, they’re so beautiful, and the recipes aren’t terribly daunting. I made four, for research purposes.

Green monster rolls (pp. 178): Easy and delicious! Super garlicky, which I love, plus the boiling step makes a satisfying, chewy crust. I froze a few of my first, less photogenic batch, and plan to defrost them for panade once cold weather returns.

Asian eggplant (pp. 130) on a green monster roll: Girl, this eggplant was to die. TO DIE. Spicy and savory, the sauce was a great foil for my little rosa bianca eggplant. I then used the leftover slaw on my tomato sandwiches for the rest of the week.

Bierocks (pp. 88): The older I get, the more I love cabbage. And sauerkraut. Pickled foods forever! Here, I substituted Soy Curls for the tempeh called for in the recipe, and it turned out smashingly. These we ate with spicy brown mustard, as advised, and oh, they were tremendous. German pierogi!

And for dessert, open-face Bananas Foster cake sandwiches (pp. 168): We used Double Rainbow vanilla soy cream. These were lovely, though I feel like the banana cake was better cut thick, toasted, and spread with vegan butter, probably because I’m not an ice cream superfan.

You can find these recipes, plus 100 more, inside Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day!, available at all fine booksellers. You can also find the recipes I followed by searching inside the book on Amazon. For even more food porn, check out Tami’s VSStD photo set on Flickr.

[photos by me; let’s be Instagram pals: @meaverly!]


Watch this: Daniel Patterson’s Go-To Summer Soup  »

Remember Archie, the tiny “chef” who helped his daddy cook this soup that I have now made variations of at least 20 times because it is so good and also Archie and his daddy are so freaking adorable? We now have a rival father-son soup-making video, courtesy Chow’s “My Go-To Dish” series: this video features super-fancy chef Daniel Patterson (of Coi! and Plum!) and his kid making a summertime soup of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, purslane, and basil. And things! It looks SO GOOD, you guys.

Daniel Patterson is so great! Remember when he said "carrots are the new caviar"? I fell in total vegan crushed-out-edness. Then I saw this video and my heart EXPLODED.

"Home is not a pursuit of perfection; home is pursuit of dinner. One of the things that’s really unfortunate is the fear of doing something wrong. Because you have to do things wrong. It’s like, how you learn, and if you’ve got good ingredients and you’re trying your best, in the end it’s gonna be fine." —Daniel Patterson, 2011 and FOREVER. Indeed it is! Kitchens are like chem labs for eating, they’re amazing and fun!

You may think you love Daniel Patterson now, but wait till the end of the video when he CHASES HIS SMALL SON AROUND THE HOUSE WIELDING HIS TINY BABY BEFORE HIM. You guys all I want is space for a small garden—herbs, a couple greens, vertical tomatoes—and a bunch of animals and babies. OK and the internet, I love the internet. But for real, let’s all adopt animals and small children and grow our own food and be friends with the neighbors and make this chilled eggplant soup. This is the summer of our aspiration. Yes, we aspire to soup. Shut it, soup is the best.


Vegansaurus survey: Eggplant! Veggie steak or bitter purple blob? You decide!  »

Yo, cuz! I have another important issue for you to weigh in on! I was inspired by this piece in the Guardian about eggplants. Fill out the survey and let’s discuss eggplant! Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. It has to be cooked a certain way. Am I right?

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